John C. Linker was born in Germany, and came to the United States as a young child. After working on the building of the Panama Railroad in the 1850s, he came back to Sandusky, Ohio, and worked for several years as a policeman. Eventually he became a prosperous farmer in Perkins Township. Sadly, he outlived two wives and several of his children. Mr. Linker died in an accident involving the railroad. The following obituary appeared in the May 4, 1888 issue of the Sandusky Register:
A Sad and Terrible Death
Last Friday morning Mr. John Linker, a prominent citizen of East Perkins, started to walk to Sandusky city. The Morning being warm and sultry it seems that he went cross-lots to the Lake Shore junction to catch a ride, and boarded a train of cars that were being shifted, and upon a sudden start off the train threw Mr. Linker to the ground and almost instantly killed him. The remains of the unfortunate man were taken to Krupp & Son's undertaking establishment, where Coroner Szendery held an inquest, after which they were brought her to his place of residence. The obsequies took place from the house on Sunday, April 29th, at 2 o'clock p.m., and the remains were taken to Oakland Cemetery and interred on the family lot. Mr. John Linker was born Jan. 1, 1830, in Hessen, Germany, and emigrated to the United States with his parents and brother and two sisters in his infancy. The family settled in Richland, now Crawford, County, Ohio, from whence Johnny walked to Sandusky when about 10 years old, where he was employed as a laborer and later engaged in business. In 1851 he was one of the ten young men who left Sandusky to engage in the enterprise of building a railroad across the Isthmus of Panama, and returned the following year in impaired health. After he recovered his health, he was appointed on the police force of Sandusky City, which position he held about six years. In 1853 he married Mary Gimkie, with whom he had one child, and within two years both the child and mother died. In 1857 he was married to a Mrs. Culvan, a young widow from East Perkins, where they afterwards removed on a farm. The fruits of the latter marriage were eleven children, six of whom are living, six boys and one girl. The mother was laid to rest ten years ago.
Mrs. Linker was a brother to John Linker, of Elmore, Sandusky County, and Mrs. Hurdle (sic), the widow of the founder of the Sandusky Demokrat, and Mrs. Smith, both residing in your city. Mr. Linker was a man of great intelligence and fair knowledge for one who had so poor advantages in youth, of stern integrity, and was of a noble, kind and charitable disposition. He bore up grandly under his many sore afflictions, and was ever ready to cheer up the depressed and always had a kind word and cheerful countenance for everyone. His friends were many, which was manifest by the large cortege that followed him to his last resting place. The stricken family find many hearts to sympathize with them in their sore afflictions ,and by a communion of sorrow mitigate their grief.
John C. Linker was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery in the family lot. Several of members of his family who predeceased him were buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery.